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Culture of the European Renaissance (MA) (Full-Time, 2023 Entry)

Explore our Culture of the European Renaissance, taught Master's degree.

Gain an insight into the culture of the European Renaissance on this MA. Warwick's Centre for the Study of the Renaissance offers an interdisciplinary research environment.

The term in Venice will add an international dimension to your profile, and all modules will help you develop and present nuanced arguments, while giving you deeper knowledge of the Renaissance period from a range of disciplinary perspectives.

Course overview

This is the only Renaissance MA in the UK to offer students the opportunity to spend a full term in Venice. Instruction is in English, and you will be able to take Italian language classes.

This MA covers the period c.1300-c.1650 across Europe. It provides a foundation in the art, history, literature, philosophy, religion and science of the period, exploring their interconnections with the social and political context.

Strongly interdisciplinary, it is taught by academics drawn from the Departments of Classics, English, History, History of Art, and from the School of Modern Languages and Cultures.

Skills from this degree

  • Advanced interdisciplinary understanding of Renaissance culture
  • Advanced synthetic and analytical skills
  • Linguistic, palaeographical, and bibliographical skills
  • Research and Information managements skills
  • Advanced written and oral communication skills

General entry requirements

Minimum requirements

2:i undergraduate degree (or equivalent) in a related subject.

English language requirements

You can find out more about our English language requirementsLink opens in a new window. This course requires the following:

  • Band B
  • IELTS overall score of 7.0, minimum component scores of two at 6.0/6.5 and the rest at 7.0 or above.

International qualifications

We welcome applications from students with other internationally recognised qualifications.

For more information, please visit the international entry requirements pageLink opens in a new window.

Additional requirements

There are no additional entry requirements for this course.

Core modules

Order and Disorder: Religion, Society and Culture in Early Modern Venice (taught in Venice)

This module gives you a unique opportunity to study the history of a great Mediterranean city while living in it. Lectures are combined with site visits to offer a full sense of the development of Renaissance and early modern Venice. The Venice Programme has an international reputation and this module draws on the expertise of staff working in this area.

Renaissance Culture and Society (taught at Warwick)

The core module provides an overview of selected methodological and topical issues important for studying the Renaissance and the early modern periods. This ensures you are familiar with a number of different disciplinary approaches to the period (e.g., literature, history, history of art). This module gives you the opportunity to sample the broad expertise of members active in the Centre; prepares you, if you wish, to go on to further study; and encourages you to become effective at sharing and communicating knowledge.

Research in Medieval and/or Early Modern Art/Architectural History (taught in Venice)

This module, taught in Venice, is focused on developing research and writing skills through the study of a specific area of Medieval and/or Early Modern art and/or architecture. You will learn about significant scholarly debates among historians of art and/or architecture, analyse and evaluate their contributions, and view many of the art works first-hand, through visits to churches and museums.


This module forms a core part of the taught MA in the Culture of the European Renaissance, offered by the Centre for the Study of the Renaissance. As the capstone of such a course, it invites you to develop and display your research and writing skills within the context of an original study of materials related to the Renaissance. The dissertation is developed in consultation with an academic supervisor; normally its scope is established and the research takes place between the end of Term Two and over the summer term.

Optional modules

Optional modules can vary from year to year. Example optional modules may include:

  • Italian Renaissance Humanism
  • Critical Foundations of Renaissance Studies
  • Books, Subversion and the Republic of Letters
  • Leonardo: Art and Science
  • The Development of English Drama, 1558-1659
  • Themes and Approaches to the Historical Study of Religious Cultures


You will spend one term in Venice, studying the city’s art, history and culture and being taught by Warwick staff. The programme includes site visits, study sessions in Venetian workshops and behind-the-scenes visits to the warehouses of Venice’s museums.

During the other main teaching term, you will be at Warwick. There, you will explore the dissemination of Renaissance culture in Europe and further afield by completing an interdisciplinary Core Module, attending weekly skills training sessions, and completing an additional module in Renaissance or early modern studies of your choice. This can be selected from the Centre’s offerings or from the relevant offerings of any of the associated departments in the Humanities.

You will be encouraged to follow the training offered in Palaeography and/or Latin for Research. We may, subject to the government’s Brexit agreement, be able to continue exchange opportunities with Paris and Venice during the summer term.

Class sizes

There are around 6 to 10 students per class for this course.

Typical contact hours

For Terms One and Two, students will have an average of 8 contact hours during each week.

During Term Three, no formal teaching takes place: students concentrate on their dissertations and have regular contact with their supervisors.


Our aim is to develop your research and writing skills to the point where you are able to present cogent, complex and original arguments based on your research of images, buildings, artefacts, documents and other primary sources.

Each individual module is assessed through essays. Normally you will write an extended essay (5,000 words) for each of your modules, in addition to a dissertation (15,000 words). The dissertation is prepared over the late spring and summer and submitted in September. You will be requested to submit a literature review at the start of term three.

You will receive close one-to-one tuition from members of staff to guide you through your programme of research and writing. Your dissertation is equal to one third of the mark with the four module essays making up the remaining weighting towards your final mark.

Additional course costs

Travel to Venice for term there; possible extra living allowances as the cost of living can be more expensive than in the UK.

Reading lists

Most departments have reading lists available through Warwick Library. If you would like to view reading lists for the current cohort of students you can visit our Warwick Library web page.

Your timetable

Your personalised timetable will be complete when you are registered for all modules, compulsory and optional, and you have been allocated to your lectures, seminars and other small group classes. Your compulsory modules will be registered for you and you will be able to choose your optional modules when you join us.

Your career

Graduates from this course have chosen to progress to PhD study and/or pursue a career in academia, museums or galleries, archives, Higher Education and fundraising.

Our department has a dedicated professionally qualified Senior Careers Consultant offering impartial advice and guidance together with workshops and events throughout the year. Previous examples of workshops and events include:

  • Warwick careers fairs throughout the year
  • Careers in the Creative Industries sector event
  • Working for More than Profit careers fair and sector event
  • Making applications

Centre for the Study of the Renaissance

The Centre for the Study of the Renaissance (CSR) is a world-leading research community based at the University of Warwick. It is an independent and interdisciplinary centre with very strong international connections and an active programme of MA and PhD study.

The CSR aims to support – through research, teaching, and outreach – the study of the period stretching from the fourteenth to the seventeenth century, at Warwick and beyond. It is particularly dedicated to exploring Renaissance Studies in a multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary way and within a context of international collaboration. It also promotes activities that intersect with the work of medievalists and early modernists.

Find out more about us on our website.

Our Postgraduate courses

Tuition fees

Tuition fees are payable for each year of your course at the start of the academic year, or at the start of your course, if later. Academic fees cover the cost of tuition, examinations and registration and some student amenities.

Taught course fees  Research course fees

Fee Status Guidance

We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Students will be classified as Home or Overseas fee status. Your fee status determines tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available. If you receive an offer, your fee status will be clearly stated alongside the tuition fee information.

Do you need your fee classification to be reviewed?

If you believe that your fee status has been classified incorrectly, you can complete a fee status assessment questionnaire. Please follow the instructions in your offer information and provide the documents needed to reassess your status.

Find out more about how universities assess fee status

Additional course costs

As well as tuition fees and living expenses, some courses may require you to cover the cost of field trips or costs associated with travel abroad.

For departmental specific costs, please see the Modules tab on the course web page for the list of core and optional core modules with hyperlinks to our Module Catalogue (please visit the Department’s website if the Module Catalogue hyperlinks are not provided).

Associated costs can be found on the Study tab for each module listed in the Module Catalogue (please note most of the module content applies to 2022/23 year of study). Information about module department specific costs should be considered in conjunction with the more general costs below:

  • Core text books
  • Printer credits
  • Dissertation binding
  • Robe hire for your degree ceremony

Scholarships and bursaries

Scholarships and financial support

Find out about the different funding routes available, including; postgraduate loans, scholarships, fee awards and academic department bursaries.

Living costs

Find out more about the cost of living as a postgraduate student at the University of Warwick.

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Here is our checklist on how to apply for research postgraduate degrees at the University of Warwick.

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